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Quotes of the day: Russell Baker
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Published Wednesday, August 14, 2013 @ 12:03 AM EDT
Aug 14 2013

Quotes of the day: Russell Baker (b August 14, 1925)

Russell Wayne Baker (born August 14, 1925) is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning writer known for his satirical commentary and self-critical prose, as well as for his autobiography, Growing Up. (Click for full Wikipedia article.)

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A group of politicians deciding to dump a President because his morals are bad is like the Mafia getting together to bump off the Godfather for not going to church on Sunday.

A railroad station? That was sort of a primitive airport, only you didn't have to take a cab 20 miles out of town to reach it.

A solved problem creates two new problems, and the best prescription for happy living is not to solve any more problems than you have to.

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.

All politicians are humble, and seldom let you forget it. They go around the country boasting about their humility. They are proud of their humility. Many are downright arrogant about their humility and insist that it qualifies them to be President.

Americans like fat books and thin women.

Americans treat history like a cookbook. Whenever they are uncertain what to do next, they turn to history and look up the proper recipe, invariably designated 'the lesson of history.'

An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious - just dead wrong.

Anything that isn't opposed by about 40 percent of humanity is either an evil business or so unimportant that it simply doesn't matter.

By any precise definition, Washington is a city of advanced depravity. There one meets and dines with the truly great killers of the age, but only the quirkily fastidious are offended, for the killers are urbane and learned gentlemen who discuss their work with wit and charm and know which tool to use on the escargots.

Can't anything be done about calling these guys student athletes? That's like referring to Attila the Hun's cavalry as 'weekend warriors.'

Don't try to make children grow up to be like you, or they may do it.

Eternal boyhood is the dream of a depressing percentage of American males, and the locker room is the temple where they worship arrested development.

Happiness is a small and unworthy goal for something as big and fancy as a whole lifetime, and should be taken in small doses.

I frankly admit to not knowing who I am. This is why I refuse to buy clothes that will tell people who I want them to think I am.

I gave up on new poetry myself thirty years ago, when most of it began to read like coded messages passing between lonely aliens on a hostile world.

I've had an unhappy life, thank God.

If you are going to preach that unfairness is inescapable for some, good sense suggests that you also accept the inevitability of beastly behavior by people who have to carry the burden.

In America nothing dies easier than tradition.

In America, it is sport that is the opiate of the masses.

In televisionland we are all sophisticated enough now to realize that every statistic has an equal and opposite statistic somewhere in the universe.

Inanimate objects can be classified scientifically into three major categories: those that don't work, those that break down and those that get lost.

Is fuel efficiency really what we need most desperately? I say what we really need is a car that can be shot when it breaks down.

It seems to be a law of American life that whatever enriches us anywhere except in the wallet inevitably becomes uneconomic.

It's good for the soul to hear yourself as others hear you, and next time maybe, just maybe, you will not talk so much, so loudly, so brilliantly, so charmingly, so utterly shamelessly foolishly.

Journalism was being whittled away by a Wall Street theory that profits can be maximized by minimizing the product.

Life is always walking up to us and saying, 'Come on in, the living's fine,' and what do we do? Back off and take its picture.

Listen once in a while. It's amazing what you can hear.

Live by publicity, you'll probably die by publicity.

Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.

Nowadays almost every business is like show business, including politics, which has become more like show business than show business is.

On New York's East Side one occasionally meets a person so palpably evil as to be fascinatingly irresistible.

Only the Government, it seems, has a legal right to manipulate opinion with hot documents.

People seem to enjoy things more when they know a lot of other people have been left out of the pleasure.

People who say you're just as old as you feel are all wrong, fortunately.

Reporters thrive on the world's misfortune. For this reason they often take an indecent pleasure in events that dismay the rest of humanity.

So there he is at last. Man on the moon. The poor magnificent bungler! He can't even get to the office without undergoing the agonies of the damned, but give him a little metal, a few chemicals, some wire and twenty or thirty billion dollars and, vroom.

Some people like to eat octopus. Liberals, mostly.

The first thing we do with a President is shunt him off to a siding where nothing American can ever happen to him.

The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist man and ultimately defeat him.

The Government cannot afford to have a country made up entirely of rich people, because rich people pay so little tax that the Government would quickly go bankrupt. This is why Government men always tell us that labor is man's noblest calling. Government needs labor to pay its upkeep.

The old notion that brevity is the essence of wit has succumbed to the modern idea that tedium is the essence of quality.

The people who are always hankering loudest for some golden yesteryear usually drive new cars.

There are no liberals behind steering wheels.

Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things.

Voters inclined to loathe and fear elite Ivy League schools rarely make fine distinctions between Yale and Harvard. All they know is that both are full of rich, fancy, stuck-up and possibly dangerous intellectuals who never sit down to supper in their undershirt no matter how hot the weather gets.

Watergate left Washington a city ravaged by honesty.

When it comes to cars, only two varieties of people are possible- cowards and fools.

While it is very sturdy of comfortable men to point out that life is unfair, the people it is unfair to are not apt to be morally or philosophically elevated by the announcement.

You can always tell folks from nonfolks. Folks like to feel good, like to smile for the camera when there's a big photo opportunity for a really good cause.


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